There is still no comment from government on what was on Sunday reported to be a “damning confidential report by the Auditor General” on the state of the administration of the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC).
The City Press newspaper reported that the committee, chaired by Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Jeff Radebe “did not understand and exercise their oversight responsibility related to the issuing of permits and related controls” and added that arms export “permits were issued without the proper authorisation, delegation or ratification of the NCACC”.
The broadsheet added the AG found that a register of permits for the international sale of conventional weapons was not up to date “and some permits cannot be traced”, while at least “58 arms transactions with clients in at least 26 countries took place without the legally required input by relevant government departments.
For at least 17 transactions there were no delivery verifications certificates and in some cases the end-user certificates were missing.
According to the audit report for the year to March 2008, SA sold arms to Gabon, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Algeria, Egypt and the Central African Republic,among others.
Replies to the Auditor-General’s queries by the DCAC director Dumisane Dladla, “promises no improvement”,he City Press said.
“In almost all cases the same concerns were raised in the previous year. In the confidential report Dladla cut-and-pasted the same explanation word for word from the last one. He did not say what remedial steps would be taken to stave off chaos in arms sales.”
Democratic Alliance defence spokesman David Maynier responded that this amounted to “concrete evidence of an almost complete administrative breakdown that has persisted for a number of years at the NCACC.”
defenceWeb has sought comment from both Radebe’ office as well as the Department of Defence that includes the Directorate Conventional Arms Control hat acts as the NCACC’s secretariat. The DoD generally refers NCACC questions to Radebe but an official this morning said defence minister Lindiwe Sisulu had requested a briefing on the matter. The official implied she might respond in due course.
Radebe’s spokesman Tlali Tlali yesterday undertook to comment but has been unavailable today and as not responded to calls or sms.
Pic: Surplus SA Army Casspir MRAP vehicles are a popular South African export.